Three first-half goals made it easy for the Sounders, beating the over-matched Caledonia club from Trinidad and Tobago, 3-1, to advance in CONCACAF Champions League group play Wednesday night at CenturyLink in front of 7,767 — the Sounders’ smallest crowd at CenturyLink.
It was the first of three games in six days in three competitions for the Sounders, who saved some energy by getting up swiftly on the visitors, who were making their debut in the regional tournament.
After teammate Alex Caskey whiffed on an opportunity in the 19th minute, the ball rolled to the feet of Sammy Ochoa, who left-footed a shot inside the near post.
In the 30th minute, Cordell Cato broke away down the middle and side-footed a pass to Caskey, who took it deep down the right flank before crossing a perfect pass to the feet of Fredy Montero, who had only to re-direct it for a score.
In the 41st minute, Montero fired from short range again, but goalie Glenroy Samuel failed to corral the ball. Ochoa and Andy Rose converged on the loose-ball rebound, with Rose credited with the score.
Caledonia’s only score came on a penalty kick by Kareem Joseph in the 50th minute past backup goalie Andrew Weber, following a foul on Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.
The Sounders will have a rematch Aug. 30 in Trinidad against Caledonia. The teams are in Group Four of the 24-team tournament that concludes in March. The eight group winners advance to the quarterfinals.
The Sounders return to MLS action at 6 p.m. Sunday against the LA Galaxy.